Lactate Threshold Testing for Run Training

This year my wife Kate and I started training for triathlons. We had raced in one a few years back and figured we could just read some stuff on the internet and be fine. We raced in the Pumkinman Olympic distance tri in October and both finished but realized if we wanted to continue doing tri’s then we would need to get smarter about training.

We had taken some swim lessons from Sarah at WannaTri in July and that helped our swim times immensely. I went from trying not to drown to enjoying swim training and feeling very confident in the race. So we signed up with them for their coaching plan and have been working for over a month now.

One of the first things they do is have you do some tests. These are not fun tests either. They call them lactate threshold tests and what that means is you will be in pain during the test. The idea is that you run or bike as hard and fast as you can for about 20 minutes and try not to puke or pass out. During the test you have a heart rate monitor on and then you send your data to your coaches for analysis. From this information they can then determine your heart rate or power levels for various workouts to help build your endurance and power for racing.

If you are interested in racing in a triathlon even just for fun you should give a coach a try and learn more about how train smart and effectively. You might not be interested in winning any races but you will have a bigger smile at the finish.

Canal Riding and Strava Testing

Kate and I started training for the St George Half Ironman about a month ago. We got just a little data crazy and picked up a couple of Garmin 910XT super watches that have GPS, Barometer, Accelerometer, Heartrate, Cadence, and a bunch of other features to help you be a better athlete. We also have coaches who we can upload this info to on a special website called Training Peaks which lets them assign workouts and then see how we did.

Recently I learned about another site called Strava that lets you upload the workout data but with a more social twist. You can follow a number of people including some professional cyclists and runners and see how slow you are compared to them.

Last Saturday I did a long slow ride for 32 miles. I like to ride up to the Arizona Canal and spend most of my time on it as there are underpasses at the streets so you dont have to stop. Here is the Strava breakdown of the ride:

There will be more…

Podcast #10 – Sarah and Seth from WannaTri

Desertstandard Podcast 11 Sarah and Seth from WannatriThis weeks podcast is with Sarah and Seth from WannaTri a triathlon coaching company located in Scottsdale and Phoenix Arizona. Sarah recently gave my wife Kate and I swim lessons in preparation for a Triathlon we are competing in October of this year. It changed my approach to swimming so completely that I wanted to have her and her husband and business partner Seth on the podcast.
In this episode we learn about how Sarah and Seth ended up together in Phoenix and what led them to compete in triathlons and eventually to coaching. I recommend that if you have any interest in competing in a triathlon that you give WannaTri a call.

Link Love:
List of upcoming clinics and seminars
Overview of services
Swim Lessons
Newsletter Sign-up

Jawbone UP and IFTTT: Getting them connected

getting UP and IFTTT to play niceI wrote out a long post on this because its Saturday and I like to talk, even through text. If you want the solution that I found to connecting Jawbone UP to IFTTT click here or scroll to the bottom of this post. If you have nothing better to do go ahead and read the whole post, see if I care (hint: I do, please read my words, pretty please).

Getting more and more cyborg

Recently I participated in a study conducted by ASU on the Jawbone UP wristband. As a result of doing a variety of tasks from: taking a survey, to folding towels, to walking in a hallway, to running, and a few other things; I was given an UP wristband. Thus began my entry into a movement loosely known as the Quantified Self. I will go into way more detail as I use the device more, but suffice it to say I am hooked and it is helping me move around more and track what I am eating.

Sharing your Steps

One of the neatest features I learned about the wristband, and its iPhone app also called UP, is that Jawbone has an API that allows other services to interact with it. So if you already use an app to track your running you can have it synchronize with UP. The really cool part about this is that you can connect UP with a web service called If This Then That or IFTTT.

IFTTT allows you to connect a wide variety of web services to do a variety of things automatically for you with Recipes. For example you can connect Facebook to Dropbox, and anytime someone uploads a photo and tags you in it IFTTT will send a copy of that photo to your Dropbox.

With UP and IFTTT you can set it up so that when you hit your steps goal for the day. Or you can have a Google Spreadsheet created that gets updated with your nutritional information for each new day to give a tally of how you have been eating.

Setting up the Connection between IFTTT and UP

To setup IFTTT and UP you should just go to the IFTTT website or iPhone app and connect them in the Channel section.

However there is a possibility that you will try to set up the connection from within the UP iPhone app in the App Gallery section. If you do this the services will not connect for some reason that is beyond my purview of knowledge, but trust me when I say that it will not work and further cause you pain and agony to resolve. Unless you read this post first and learn from my mistake and pain, and in the end find joy!

How not to connect UP and IFTTT and how to fix that mistake

As you can guess by now I went into the UP iPhone app went to the App Gallery, clicked on the IFTTT option, entered my IFTTT login data, and accepted the connection. Then I went to the IFTTT iPhone app to start creating some Recipes, but when I selected the UP option it was still greyed out. No problem I thought I will just give it my UP login info, and we will be off to the races. After I clicked on the Accept button the IFTTT app replied that they could not Connect the app to UP.

So I called Jawbone to make sure everything was cool with my account. They answered the phone quickly, and had be delete and reinstall both apps. No change to my situation and no additional help from Jawbone.

So I hit up IFTTT on twitter and they gave me the email which took a day to respond only to ask me to reinstall both apps. If you recall this is not a working solution.

So I was already in Dante’s fifth circle and now headed straight to the seventh.

I went onto the Jawbone message boards and got some great encouragement but no solutions.

Finally I walked myself back through the setup process and realized that in the UP iPhone app the IFTTT app still had a green checkmark next to its name in the App Gallery. My suspicion was that I needed to remove this connection but no one could give me an answer on how to do this. After doing a Google search I found this page which near the bottom lists how to remove an app from the UP app.

So without further ado I give you my solution to getting UP and IFTTT to play nice with each other. Enjoy.

Resolving connection issue with UP and IFTTT

  1. On your iPhone go into the UP app.
  2. Click on the three bar button in the upper left corner
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Click on Privacy & Sharing
  5. At the bottom of this page will be all Apps you have added in the UP gallery. To remove click on the minus (-) sign on the left side of the App name that you want to remove, in this case IFTTT.
  6. A delete button will appear to the right of the App name. Click on that to remove the App from the UP app.
  7. The App should now be removed but I did find that I had to exit the UP app a few times and redo this process to get it to completely remove itself from the UP app.
  8. Once this has been removed you need to go to the IFTTT app or website and connect to UP via the channel section. Once you do this UP and IFTTT will be connected and you can rock on.

This was a pretty long winded article for just a short and simple resolution but I wanted to point out how difficult this was to complete. If Jawbone setup the UP app properly there would be a Delete option from within the app in the App Gallery. Simple fix.

Leading by Example

Went to the dentists office which is near the hospital. Rode my bike as I do and had trouble finding the bike rack. Once I did I was surprised to see only 4 other bikes on a rack that wasn’t anchored to the ground.

This puts our healthcare system into an interesting perspective. The focus is on using technology instead of working on staying healthy.

We drive our cars to the hospital and take pills and get arteries drilled out to stay alive. Instead we could bike to work and keep our cardio system strong and healthy and our cholesterol low.

It might be nice is the ones who are supposed to keep us healthy would lead by example, but that’s probably the most telling part of the equation. Are they focused on patient health or checking account health?

Just a thought.


Eating healthy is hard

Calories in 13" Flour Tortilla.

So I am trying to lose some weight and tracking what I eat with Calorie Count over at Its not perfect but its pretty good and easy to use. One thing that is nice is it has a lot of restaurant food items in its database. There is a Chipotle near my office so I eat there occasionally as I can see what is going into my food and then enter it into Calorie Count pretty easy.

Well I though that things were going well today with a healthy breakfast and upcoming dinner. After entering all of those Items I saw that I still had about 1000 calories to go for my 2000 calorie daily target. So instead of getting the Bowl I opted for the tortilla thinking I would come in well below the radar. OOOOPSIE!

Turns out the Tortilla at Chipotle is 330 calories with 860 mg of sodium. So my lunch went from 500 calories to 830 and my daily sodium is way over. Goddamit!

Where’s the beef? 2012(Update)

The flaw in the report is that it treats American consumers as passive actors who are victims of diminishing supplies, rising costs and government bias against the meat industry. Nowhere does it mention that we’re eating less meat because we want to eat less meat.

via Were Eating Less Meat. Why? –

Interesting article on American’s trend of eating less meat. I can attest that Kate and I are eating less meat mainly from a weight loss perspective, but the economics are impossible to ignore. Add to it the fact that meat is heavily subsidized and uses up a lot of oil to move around and our house is easily following this trend.

Best of all is that Kate has really jumped on board with things and is making some amazing recipes. Check out these books:

[UPDATE] – Kate has chimed in with the following:

I BEGAN eating less meat mainly from a weight loss perspective.

I CONTINUE to eat less meat due to aforementioned reasons.

Graham Crackers a Slideshow

Went car camping with Kate, Trip, and Tate to Mount Graham area near Safford this weekend. Playing around with my DSLR camera and thought there were a few pretty good shots in there. Unfortunately we had grey clouds and some rain all weekend so there wasn’t much chance for getting landscape shots. The good news is that Tate is pretty much endless entertainment especially with cardboard boxes.

The light stuff in the late middle is a super long exposure and me running around with Tate’s lamp. I thought it might be cool to write some stuff.

Video Kate and Roger’s Wedding in Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe

What is the saying about Fools Rush In? We decided hell yeah why not you only get one shot and second guessing just tells you more about something not being right. So based on faulty logic and raging hormones Kate Grass and Roger Williams decided to tie the knot and get married on March 11th, 2011. This video is a compilation of the photos taken by our minister or whatever you call her set to Heart Skipped a Beat by the Xx.